How to design an energy efficient house

How to design an energy efficient house

New homes built today have to meet the compulsory 6 star energy efficiency rating, and of course, the requirements demanded by potential exposure to cyclonic winds. There is also a very real interest in sustainability.

But that doesn’t have to mean prohibitive costs, weird roof lines and water-less toilets!

As you’ll discover when it comes to Grady Homes, the innovation and creativity in every one of our designs enables you to meet this target and still get the new home you’ve always dreamed of.

To put your mind at rest on those considerations, let’s go through a few simple issues that may impact on your design choices and your lifestyle.

1. Orientation

Positioning your home to minimise the direct sun exposure on the west and east elevations is one of the most powerful and simple ways of ensuring the air-conditioners stay off as much as possible.

Of course, if this isn’t possible for your building site, we can still come up with creative solutions. Such as incorporating some shading materials or eaves into your house design.

In Townsville, we receive our cool breezes from the North-East, so Grady house designs are configured to capture as much of this onto patios and through your homes to allow adequate air-flow throughout.

Getting technical for a moment, air moving over our skin at 1 metre per second produces a cooling effect of about 3 – 4°C. If going green is a high priority for you, you’ll want to check out the Grady Homes designs that are narrower and allow cooling breezes to travel throughout the house.

2. Insulation

At Grady Homes, all of our homes undergo computer energy modelling. These models recommend the best type of insulation to use for each house to reach the the desired energy efficiency rating at the lowest cost.

In addition to that, we employ a Green Smart accredited Interior Decorator to advise you on the best colours to maximise solar reflectivity and street appeal. A white roof for example, can have 65% TSR (total solar reflectivity) over a dark roof which absorbs more than it reflects.

Small details? Not when you think it saves energy, helps global warming, and saves you money on power bills.

3. Our Earth, a natural heat sink

Ever wondered why tiles can feel so much cooler under your feet than carpet?

A solid slab construction is in contact with the earth, which absorbs heat during the day and pushes it where it’s cooler, down into the earth.

This bit of science helps reduce the internal air temperature of your home, especially where you have tiles rather than carpet (which tends to insulate the internal air from transferring this heat). A real bonus!

4. Reducing Health Impacts

Because of our commitment to better and safer building, Grady Homes uses the chemical free Termimesh. This is a physical, marine-grade, stainless-steel barrier. We use it when we build your home because we believe it is THE BEST product for reliability and endurance, and being chemical-free is a bonus.

The more you explore our safety philosophy, the more ‘green’ examples you’ll come across. For example, we insist our painters use either Solver Paints which are recognised by the Green Building Council Australia for their work in reducing VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) that contribute to internal air pollution.

5. Choosing Energy Saving Inclusions

Choose to include appliances that have an energy efficiency rating of 5 stars (or higher).

Our recommended range of Fujitsu Split Systems have energy efficiency ratings up to 5.5 stars.

You can build a more energy efficient home by choosing to include items such as:

  • Energy efficient LED lighting
  • Reflective/tinted windows to shield the sun and heat
  • Louvres on windows to allow maximum air flow
  • Tiled flooring throughout
  • Solar power with or without a connected battery system such as Tesla
  • Quality insulation
  • Energy efficient appliances
  • Clothes line (instead of a dryer)
  • More windows on the side of the home with breezes
  • Open plan house design
  • Irrigating your garden with grey water

6. Environmentally-Friendly Technology

As you might imagine, there is today, highly sophisticated technology to calculate the best combination of building materials. We use this technology for its many benefits to the environment. Sometimes subtle things, such as minimising wastage, planning the logistics of material delivery, so there is less travel time for suppliers and for our tradesmen sourcing materials.

Our team includes Thermal Performance Assessors nationally accredited by the Association of Building Sustainability Assessors. They use the latest, most advanced software to accurately model the energy rating of your new home. This rating is derived by considering:

  • orientation on the block
  • sun exposure
  • position and size of living areas
  • air flow
  • floor type
  • floor coverings
  • amount of fans and energy efficient lights
  • colour of the roof and house
  • insulation requirements

It is technology working for us, you, and the environment.

When it comes to looking after our planet, Grady Homes is the natural choice. Visit one of our display homes this week to discuss building your new energy-efficient home in Townsville, Ingham or Ayr. 

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